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Winter Driving w/ My 4x4 Taco

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Old 01-15-2011, 08:48 PM   #1
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Winter Driving w/ My 4x4 Taco

Hey there,

Now, I'm from southern ca and I've never driven in snow...I would go to vegas all the time but there's no snow over that pass!

I now live in Northern Ca, and going over Tahoe, there's snow! A lot sometimes. Last time we went, a lot of snow, but we have my GF's Xterra 4x4.

We are going there a lot as the in-laws live over that way.

Now I have a 4x4 sexy black access cab taco But someone said I should put sandbags in the bag of my truck if I go driving up to Tahoe, especially if it's snowing.

So is that true, since I have 4x4? If so, how many lbs do I put in the back?

Thanks!

Eileen
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:56 PM   #2
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Nah.. maybe if you plan on getting stuck it might help... it won't help its road manners.
lots of people do it.. with 4x4 you don't need it and it can just help your back end try to outrun you in certain situations. That was an old trick that we used to use on bias ply summer tires on rear wheel drive cars with 3 speed transmissions and far too much torque. I've never been stuck in a 4x4 or FWD of any type due to snow and rarely in a 4x2 muscle car type chassis. Its all you man. All you.

Just take it easy. I have experience driving the exact roads you will in winter. As a matter of fact, you may find the passes closed if you hit em right after a storm. Back when I was out west last, there were mandatory chain signs everywhere. I never had em, never needed em. Worst thing I ever saw was a guy in a j20 that got half way up monarch pass pulling a trailer when he lost traction because he didn't turn in his hubs at the bottom of the hill. I pulled over, slid down to his truck, turned in his hubs struggled back up the ice and snow to my taco, and took off like it was on dry ground.

Things like expeditions, suburbans, tahoes... they got plenty of weight.. and they pretty much suck next to a mid size truck with nothing in the back...
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:00 PM   #3
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Its not going to hurt to use some weight. Just remember 4x4 is no match for ICE.
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by island808 View Post
Nah.. maybe if you plan on getting stuck it might help... it won't help its road manners.
lots of people do it.. with 4x4 you don't need it and it can just help your back end try to outrun you in certain situations. That was an old trick that we used to use on bias ply summer tires on rear wheel drive cars with 3 speed transmissions and far too much torque. I've never been stuck in a 4x4 or FWD of any type due to snow and rarely in a 4x2 muscle car type chassis. Its all you man. All you.

Just take it easy. I have experience driving the exact roads you will in winter. As a matter of fact, you may find the passes closed if you hit em right after a storm. Back when I was out west last, there were mandatory chain signs everywhere. I never had em, never needed em. Worst thing I ever saw was a guy in a j20 that got half way up monarch pass pulling a trailer when he lost traction because he didn't turn in his hubs at the bottom of the hill. I pulled over, slid down to his truck, turned in his hubs struggled back up the ice and snow to my taco, and took off like it was on dry ground.

Things like expeditions, suburbans, tahoes... they got plenty of weight.. and they pretty much suck next to a mid size truck with nothing in the back...
awesome, thanks! yeah, i figured w/ 4x4 shouldnt be a problem...oh here's the kicker, i asked the guy how many lbs he says 50. I was on the way home thinking...fifty, really?? guess, like you said, an old trick.

thank you again! i feel better!
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eileenwilson View Post
awesome, thanks! yeah, i figured w/ 4x4 shouldnt be a problem...oh here's the kicker, i asked the guy how many lbs he says 50. I was on the way home thinking...fifty, really?? guess, like you said, an old trick.

thank you again! i feel better!
i ran last year in my 2wd with 40lbs in th bed behind the axle and had very little trouble with snow.

now i own a 4x4 tundra but i run in 2wd most of the time even on snowy roads and i seem to be missing the traction off the line i had in the tacoma. im sure a little extra weight there would help
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oofy15354 View Post
i ran last year in my 2wd with 40lbs in th bed behind the axle and had very little trouble with snow.

now i own a 4x4 tundra but i run in 2wd most of the time even on snowy roads and i seem to be missing the traction off the line i had in the tacoma. im sure a little extra weight there would help
cool ok thanks

so, just a lill should help but it's not exactly *necessary*
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eileenwilson View Post
cool ok thanks

so, just a lill should help but it's not exactly *necessary*
last year we got hit with some good snow and i would always shovel out the bed of the truck .. i never had issues with traction. this year i left the snow in for a few days and it made a bit of a difference, the rear wouldn't kick out when i went through the snow hard but thats no fun.
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:37 PM   #8
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Full gas tank.. snow in the bed... any weight in an empty pickup bed is GOOD THING. Balance your truck! You have a new truck? It has TRAC and AUTO LSD in 2WD... very good. But, turn on 4WD... and it will be like night and day difference on bad roads!
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:45 PM   #9
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Some weight in the back helps whether in 4x4 or not .

4x4 won't help you stop on ice .

Take it easy on the gas and brakes , if you are in a situation where you are sliding , locked wheels do not steer , you need to get off the brake pedal and allow the tire to rotate in order to steer , so adjust your speed and following distance accordingly.
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:46 PM   #10
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Isn't that kind of what the ABS brakes do?
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:50 PM   #11
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Isn't that kind of what the ABS brakes do?
Yes , but having the brake pedal jammed to the floor and hoping for some divine ABS intervention WILL increase your stopping distance on snow .
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eileenwilson View Post
Hey there,

Now, I'm from southern ca and I've never driven in snow...I would go to vegas all the time but there's no snow over that pass!

I now live in Northern Ca, and going over Tahoe, there's snow! A lot sometimes. Last time we went, a lot of snow, but we have my GF's Xterra 4x4.

We are going there a lot as the in-laws live over that way.

Now I have a 4x4 sexy black access cab taco But someone said I should put sandbags in the bag of my truck if I go driving up to Tahoe, especially if it's snowing.

So is that true, since I have 4x4? If so, how many lbs do I put in the back?

Thanks!

Eileen
I live in Iowa and have driven in snow for many years.
Never needed to add weight to the rear if I had a 4WD truck.
In the past I've owned two IH Scouts (remember them), a Blazer, four Toyota Pick-ups and a Land Cruiser.
Total of eight 4WD vehicles so far.
Never needed weight.

If we had enough snow to be of concern, I made sure of keeping the gas tank full.
A full tank adds weight to the rear. (Gas weighs approx. 6 lbs. per gallon.)

Some people do buy tubes of sand. Easy to transport.
Just a bother.
I'd rather keep the rear empty for hauling other things.
If it gets that I need extra traction, I just put it in 4WD.
Good tires is a plus.

If you do add weight to the rear, remember to secure it.
Too many times I see trucks with cement blocks or logs in the rear for weight.
That can be dangerous.

In the event of an accident, items in the bed of the truck can sail forward and possibly take your head off.

Have fun in the snow though.
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:16 PM   #13
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Consider this situation :

Two drivers need to decend a snow covered hill , Driver A , we'll call him David , decends as though it is wet pavement , 4x4 engaged ( it's OK on wet pavement remember ) , and the transmission in D .

The truck accelerates down the hill as it would on wet pavement , at the bottom David slams on his brakes and waits for the ABS system to engage bringing him to a stop .

The problem with relying on ABS is that you lose control of the situation because unlike on pavement , on snow , the pulsing of the ABS does not really have a chance to get enough traction during the braking portion of the pulse because the wheels are locked and sledding on the snow .



Driver B , we'll call him Randy Bachmann , has driven in something other than sand before , recognizes the difficulty and potential risks involved with driving in snow , engages 4x4 , and selects 3 or 2 for the tranny , drives the truck down , with throttle and not brakes , and because the speed of the vehicle has been reduced due to the conditions presented , can safely brake at the bottom of the hill . ABS should not engage , but if it does , rather than stamping the brake pedal harder to the floor , Randy lets it up , corrects steering , and re-applies the brakes softly .

Repeat as necessary .


Granted , in this video the hill is covered in ice , and you don't stand much of a chance especially with wheels not turning , with ABS or otherwise , but if you fast forward to the 1:30 mark , to the tacoma coming down the hill in control , I guarantee you that guy has it in 4x4 ( maybe 4L ) , has a low gear selected and is giving it gas , and driving down the hill . He doesn't touch his brakes once .
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebcsw...layer_embedded
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:18 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by OZ-T View Post
Yes , but having the brake pedal jammed to the floor and hoping for some divine ABS intervention WILL increase your stopping distance on snow .
Yah, it is a sick feeling when you push down on the brake and nothing is slowing you down! It was a big issue on my '05... Not at all on my '10 (yet)!
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:19 PM   #15
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Driver A is a hoser!
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:20 PM   #16
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Driver A is a hoser!
haha
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Old 01-16-2011, 12:57 AM   #17
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I live in a heavy lake effect snow area were it continues to snow for 10 straight days and every morning the local roads are not plowed (the main highways are plowed and open) but I have to drive 3 miles on unplowed roads to reach the highway
The way I drive 4x4 is I only use it when my rear wheels start spinning, I constantly take it in and out of 4x4.
Thats what I LOVE about the Toyota, its 2 wheel drive gives better traction than a full size truck, AND the 4x4 enguages quickly, you don't have to wait for it like my past 4x4 trucks.
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:54 AM   #18
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Get some chains for the rear .. I-80 can be a bitch in bad weather, and sometimes even 4x4 isn't enough. Better to have and not need than need and not have.
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Old 01-16-2011, 04:06 AM   #19
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STUCK

I got stuck, in my 2011 DC Taco 4x4 a few days ago. Only the second time that I have been really stuck in the last 25 years of driving. I ended up getting high sided where the truck floating up on top of what I was driving in. I was on an un-plowed road with drifts at least 3-4 deep. There was a truck (jeep) stuck already... I tried to go around him and ended up being stuck right next to him as the more I pushed the Taco... the more I slid towards his truck. Horizontal Maine snow with 40-50 MPH winds and we were now both stuck on top of this hill, fifty feet from the Atlantic ocean. We managed to get both trucks back down the hill with about an hour of digging. They decided to leave their Jeep and walk home. I sat at the bottom of the hill and wondered what I would do for about fifteen minutes... Finally, I put her into LOW, locked her axle and then managed to climb the 1/4 mile hill to get out. The Taco was working really hard to get out, bouncing off the limiter a few times !! No matter how good your 4x4 is, if you get high sided..... you are done. All in all, these trucks seem good in the Maine snow, but certainly no rover or jeep when the shit hits the fan as it is still a pick-up with no weight on the rear wheels. My $.02
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Old 01-16-2011, 04:17 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OZ-T View Post
Some weight in the back helps whether in 4x4 or not .

4x4 won't help you stop on ice .

Take it easy on the gas and brakes , if you are in a situation where you are sliding , locked wheels do not steer , you need to get off the brake pedal and allow the tire to rotate in order to steer , so adjust your speed and following distance accordingly.

this.

drive like there's an egg between your foot and the pedal - gas or brake.

and use your gears to slow down
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